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Awarding funds thanks to players of
People's Postcode Lottery
8 April 2021
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Volunteer It Yourself Partners With Sport England to Refurbish Community Sports Clubs

Over £2m of Sport England funding is to be invested in VIY, a social enterprise which combines volunteering and DIY/construction by challenging young people aged 14-24 to learn trade and building skills by helping to renovate and refurbish local community sports clubs and venues.

The partnership between Sport England and Volunteer It Yourself will cover the delivery of 200+ VIY projects with clubs, facilities and active spaces in need over 2020-23, at the same time as involving and benefitting 4,500 young people who are NEET (not in employment, education or training) or at high risk of becoming NEET.

More than 60% of the projects will be located in local communities among the 20% most deprived nationally, according to national Indices of Multiple Deprivation. The programme will also be open to less formal ‘active spaces’ such as community centres or youth clubs that host physical activity.

Volunteers varnishing wood

Projects will also be nominated, match-funded and delivered in collaboration with other stakeholders such as national sports governing bodies, regional Active Partnerships, local authorities, youth work organisations who are best placed to refer young people to volunteer and benefit, and building and construction sector employers.

In 2018-19 VIY received pilot funding via the #IWill Fund and Sport England’s Potentials Fund to trial the VIY offer with grassroots sports clubs in need. This initial programme of works enabled 16 sports clubs nationwide to improve capacity, host new activities and attract new audiences through essential improvements to changing rooms/wet rooms, playing and storage facilities, toilet and kitchen spaces, and disability access. In the process, 544 young people (many of whom were new to the clubs in question) volunteered their time, developed new employability skills and ultimately progressed to further volunteering, training and employment opportunities.

Building on this successful pilot, VIY and Sport England are now extending the offer to at least 225 grassroots sports clubs/facilities and other active spaces over 2020-2023. These projects will also be supported by VIY’s trade and construction sector partners, such as Dulux, Travis Perkins and the Federation of Master Builders, through the donation of building materials and the recruitment of professional tradespeople as skills mentors for young people.

Volunteer with a drill, building

VIY received £145,000 in Social Investment from Postcode Innovation Trust, thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery, to help them deliver at a greater scale throughout the UK. Funding has allowed them to grow their nationwide team of Lead Mentors - experienced, professional multi-traders and builders employed by VIY to play the lead role in delivering projects on the ground and enabling the skills outcomes for young people. This support is key to their ability to deliver the new projects in partnership with Sport England.